Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) use brain signals to convey a user's intent. Some BCI approaches begin by decoding kinematic parameters of movements from brain signals, and then proceed to using these signals, in absence of movements, to allow a user to control an output. Recent results have shown that electrocorticographic (ECoG) recordings from the surface of the brain in humans can give information about kinematic parameters (e.g., hand velocity or finger flexion). The decoding approaches in these studies usually employed classical classification/regression algorithms that derive a linear mapping between brain signals and outputs. However, they typically only incorporate little prior information about the target movement parameter. In this paper, we incorporate prior knowledge using a Bayesian decoding method, and use it to decode finger flexion from ECoG signals. Specifically, we exploit the constraints that govern finger flexion and incorporate these constraints in the construction, structure, and the probabilistic functions of the prior model of a switched non-parametric dynamic system (SNDS). Given a measurement model resulting from a traditional linear regression method, we decoded finger flexion using posterior estimation that combined the prior and measurement models. Our results show that the application of the Bayesian decoding model, which incorporates prior knowledge, improves decoding performance compared to the application of a linear regression model, which does not incorporate prior knowledge. Thus, the results presented in this paper may ultimately lead to neurally controlled hand prostheses with full fine-grained finger articulation.

%B Front Neurosci %V 5 %P 127 %8 11/2011 %G eng %U http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22144944 %R 10.3389/fnins.2011.00127 %0 Conference Proceedings %B International Conference on Pattern Recognition - ICPR %D 2010 %T Decoding finger flexion from electrocorticographic signals using sparse Gaussian process. %A Zuoguan Wang %A Ji, Q %A Kai J. Miller %A Gerwin Schalk %X A brain-computer interface (BCI) creates a direct communication pathway between the brain and an external device, and can thereby restore function in people with severe motor disabilities. A core component in a BCI system is the decoding algorithm that translates brain signals into action commands of an output device. Most of current decoding algorithms are based on linear models (e.g., derived using linear regression) that may have important shortcomings. The use of nonlinear models (e.g., neural networks) could overcome some of these shortcomings, but has difficulties with high dimensional feature spaces. Here we propose another decoding algorithm that is based on the sparse gaussian process with pseudo-inputs (SPGP). As a nonparametric method, it can model more complex relationships compared to linear methods. As a kernel method, it can readily deal with high dimensional feature space. The evaluations shown in this paper demonstrate that SPGP can decode the flexion of finger movements from electrocorticographic (ECoG) signals more accurately than a previously described algorithm that used a linear model. In addition, by formulating problems in the bayesian probabilistic framework, SPGP can provide estimation of the prediction uncertainty. Furthermore, the trained SPGP offers a very effective way for identifying important features. %B International Conference on Pattern Recognition - ICPR %G eng %R 10.1109/ICPR.2010.915